Have you or a loved one ever received a scam phone call? A scammer calls to offer to talk you through a glitch on your computer that doesn’t exist or to urge you to update your credit card details or offer you free cable for a year when you supply your personal information. It’s annoying, so how do you scare a phone scammer and prevent them from contacting you again and again?
It seems that a scammer has gotten hold of your phone number; they never stop calling. If you want to know how to scare a scammer for good, keep reading. We know exactly how to ward them off.
How to scare a phone scammer
Most of us have no idea what to say to a scammer to scare them off, especially because of threats of calling the police ring hollow. After all, they’ve given you a fake name and job title…you can’t exactly trace them, can you?
Don’t worry; there are a few things you say to a scammer to scare them off.
- Waste their time
Have you ever experienced the frustration of being put on hold for what seems like hours? When a scammer gives you their long-winded sales pitch, tell them to hold on and put your phone down for 10 minutes or longer. Eventually, like all of us, they’ll give up!
- Ask too many questions
Scammers look for easy marks. They don’t want to deal with people who ask too many smart questions because it decreases the odds of getting their hands on your money. You can scare online scammer callers by interrogating everything they say. They may try to dissuade you or react angrily, but stay calm. Keep asking them to prove whether or not something is legitimate. Ask them to back up claims or direct you to their website. Point out the obvious flaws in what they are saying. Chances are, they will hang up quickly.
- Offer to connect them with the police
When a scammer starts talking, ask them to hold on. Press a few buttons and simply say, “Oh, sorry, I just had to dial in my friend. He’s a police officer, and he always helps me with these things.” They’ll probably abandon the call quite quickly and won’t call your bluff.
- Repeat what they say
If you’ve ever experienced a toddler that likes to play the repeating game, you know that the best thing to say to scare a scammer is…saying everything they’ve just said back to them. Pretend that you are hard of hearing and keep repeating what they are saying. Alternatively, keep saying yes to every question!
- Speak a different language
Sometimes pretending that you simply don’t speak the same language will do the trick if you are bilingual. Insist on speaking to a French, German, or Dutch agent until they get the message.
- Cooperate, safely
The scammer wants to get their hands on your banking details…so give them a fake credit card number. Make sure it doesn’t resemble any of your genuine passwords or account numbers. They’ll probably hang up immediately after they’ve been given your details.
How do I know if something really is a scam?
Scammers like to play into our fears, which is why a scam call can leave you rattled and wondering whether or not you should have taken it seriously or not. Some scammers will do a lot of research about you (and will even go as far as to steal your mail to find out more). They will repeat these details back to you to convince you that they are legitimate.
Instead of giving your details to the person calling, call the company they represent directly. For example, if they are calling pretending to be your internet provider or bank, call your bank or the internet company and ask whether or not there really is a problem with your account. If there is a legitimate issue, they can correct it. If there isn’t, it was likely a scam call.
Try Googling the issue as well. A simple search, like “Microsoft Hack Phone Scam,” will probably reveal a lot of information if there is a scam afoot. Scammers are rarely original, which makes them easy to catch.
Now you know how to scare a phone scammer, you can prepare for your next call with confidence.